Pasta alla Crudaiola | Pasta with a Raw Tomato Sauce

Yay for simple pasta dishes. We have a few recipes for such dishes, and most of them feature tomatoes in some form. Tomatoes are so easy to chop and add to pasta with some olive oil, garlic and basil. A bit of parmesan. And a tasty dish is born.

While the base ingredients are almost the same in the simple dishes, the way they are treated will vary, and that changes the dish. This recipe uses those base ingredients but they are chopped finely to make a sort of uncooked sauce. It is mixed with ricotta and left for an hour for the flavours to develop. Easy. Good.

This dish goes well with any pasta, really. Use short ones, curly ones or long strands. Spaghetti and bucatini are particularly good, and I love it with Penne. It is best made in Summer, or early Autumn, when our Australian tomatoes are at their best.

Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, and Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil.

And why not make your own Pasta? How to Make Eggless Pasta.

You can browse all of our Pasta dishes, our many Tomato dishes, and all of our Italian recipes. Or simply browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Beautiful Buttered Orzo Pasta

Orzo is a tiny rice-shaped Greek pasta, not to be confused with barley which in Italy is also called orzo. When you see Orzo called for in a recipe, you always have to think twice! Is it pasta or is it barley? Sometimes it is not very clear.

In this recipe orzo Pasta is simply cooked and then bathed in butter. It is a delicious way to serve it, either as an accompaniment to other dishes (perhaps a replacement for rice), or tossed with herbs and cheese as a snack. We also love it with some cream and breadcrumbs added as well.

Orzo is available from Greek groceries, and can be found in Italian groceries under the name of riso, risoni, orzo, and rosmarino. The difference is in size. Riso is very small and rosmarino is larger than orzo.

Similar recipes include Pasta with Tomato and Salted Ricotta, Elegant Orzo Salad with Spinach, and Rice with Orzo.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes and all of our Pasta dishes. Our Greek recipes are here and Italian ones here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint

Celebrate Spring with Broad Beans

This has been the year of the Broad Bean in our household. A rarely used vegetable before last year, it is again a focus for us this Spring – we found that we actually love Broad Beans. Our local Italian green grocery near our new house has large amounts of them – something that our inner-city grocery did not carry, even during Spring – so it is easy for us to celebrate this humble bean.

When you buy broad beans, young and fresh is best – they have a sheen on the pod, and will be bright green, crisp to the touch and without any black marks or blemishes. Pods are usually about 10cm long.

This pasta dish celebrates all that is Spring. Fresh and herby, it is a delight. We have used broad beans here, but it could easily use asparagus, peas or the last of the globe artichokes of the season. Or use them all together!

Remember to double-peel broad beans. Remove them from the pod, then scald them for around 30 – 60 seconds. Place in cold water then drain. With a sharp small knife make a nick in the top or side of each bean and slip it out of its skin.

Are you after other Pasta recipes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. And try Rice and Orzo Pasta, Hand Made Pesto, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.

Are you after other Broad Bean dishes? Try Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Tawa Broad Beans, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Check out our other Broad Bean recipes, and other Pasta recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese

Cabbage and Carbs always go well together, right? And this dish of cabbage with pasta is divine. It is a great cold weather dish, and perfectly good for any time of the year as a Sunday Supper. It is a rustic dish, but don’t let that dissuade you.

Sometimes I cook this dish and the family aren’t home yet, and I pick at it in the kitchen until there is a definite hole in the side. It is so delicious with the nutty, slightly stretchy Emmental cheese. So easy to make just 3 ingredients – I cook the pasta and use the pasta water to blanch the cabbage. A few minutes assembly and into the oven it goes for about 20 mins – faster if you have a good fan forced oven. Take it bubbling to the table – your family will be begging for it again and again.

Truly, this dish almost needs a wood fire and a large glass of red. Eat on its own, with salads, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Left overs are good fried up for breakfast! You could almost say that this comfort dish is NOT a Sydney dish. It is built for Melbourne and Adelaide, and all year round in Tassie. 🙂

Similar dishes include Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Pasta dishes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Pepper and Tomato, and Light Pasta Salad.

Or are you looking for Cabbage Recipes? Try Malaysian Lemak Style Vegetables, Nappa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Cabbage Thoran.

You might also like to browse all of our Cabbage recipes. All of our Pasta dishes are here. Or browse Baked recipes. Take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

Also browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Rocket Salad with Penne and Parmesan | Arugula Salad with Penne

Pasta salads are wonderful, don’t you think? Talking with my Italian Providore the other day, she wondered aloud why she and her staff didn’t bring them to work for lunch, instead of their usual sandwiches. And her question is a good one. This salad makes a perfect lunch time dish, an afternoon snack or a dinner accompaniment.

The trick with this salad is to make it a Rocket Salad with Penne, not a Penne Salad with Rocket. So the salad is heavy on rocket and light on penne. Mix it up if you wish, it would also be wonderful with different ratios, but if you are wanting your greens, I recommend trying it this way.

This is another Bittman Salad. After 3 years, we are nearly at the end of working our way through his 101 salads, making all of those that were vegetarian and modifying those that are not. There are about 13 more salads to make, and that feels so close to the end of our journey with Mark. But we shall be a little sad as we make the last one.

You might like to try other Bittman Salads. Try Roasted Sweetcorn and Avocado Salad, Fennel, Tomato and Potato Salad with Garlicky Mayonnaise, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Charred Tomato Salad with Mint and Lime. There are many, many more to come, in the queue to be published in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Or some other Pasta Salads? Try Light Pasta Salads, and Orzo Pasta with Spinach and Pinenuts.

Browse all of our Bittman Salads here (we have more in the queue for publishing over the coming months), and all of our Pasta Salads here. Explore all of our Pasta dishes (not just salads), and our Rocket recipes. Or simply browse our Early Winter dishes.

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Fettuccine con Cacio e Pepe | Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper

Simple is great, yes? Less is more. In this pasta dish, as with many others, it is the simplicity that shines and makes for a spectacular dish.

I have made it here with some home made eggless pasta that combines flour, semolina flour and chickpea flour and uses ground sesame seeds as a binding agent. It is pretty good, but of course this recipe can be made with any fettuccine or spaghetti.

Are you looking for Pasta dishes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and MintPasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Simple Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce. Don’t forget that home made eggless pasta.

Or perhaps you are after Italian fare? Try Risotto with Mushrooms, White Bean Soup and Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella.

You can browse all of our pasta dishes here, and all of our Italian recipes here. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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Rice and Orzo

Orzo is petty good, don’t you agree? This little rice-shaped pasta has an elegance that eludes other pastas. I was delighted to find another way to cook this star in Jerusalem, the cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.

Rice is a staple of many of the communities of the Middle East and features in quite complex dishes as well as very simple ones. Quite often, other ingredients like chickpeas, vermicelli, potatoes, lentils and nuts are are cooked with the rice.

Spices are also used, for example the Bucharan Jews in Jerusalem use ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon with mint, raisins and peas. How delicious!

In this recipe, the usual vermicelli is replaced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi by orzo. Don’t confuse this orzo with the Greek barley – it is the Italian pasta version. You can use vermicelli if you like, just don’t fry them as long as they will burn.

Are you looking for other Orzo recipes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, and  Elegant Orzo Salad. You should also try Kosheri – Rice with Vermicelli and Lentils.

Perhaps you are looking for mixed rice dishes. Try Zucchini Rice, Mango Rice, and Pepper Rice.

We have several Middle Eastern Recipes to try. Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, and Beautiful Hummus.

Are you looking for more? Explore our Ottolenghi recipes, all of our Orzo dishes, our Rice recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto

Using up the amount of zucchini from our garden takes some creativity. But having made Parsley Pesto, the thought of pasta, pesto and char grilled zucchini had me grilling tiny zucchini slices early one morning. A pasta lunch was in the making.

Its very easy, and any pasta can be used – spaghetti is great, but I chose to use pasta from the local Adelaide makers L’Abruzzese. I love this olive leaf pasta, tasty and slightly chewy, it has 3 colours – spinach, beetroot and regular.

If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Pasta with Tomato and Salted Ricotta, and Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts. And check out our home made eggless pasta.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

Or perhaps some zucchini recipes – try Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.

Our pesto recipes include this Parsley Pesto as well as Asparagus Pesto, Coriander Pesto, and a mix and match approach.

Or browse all of our Zucchini Recipes, all of our Pasta Dishes, all of the Pesto recipes. Our Italian Recipes are here, or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato. Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato

This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish.

Often a pasta dish is my go-to Saturday or Sunday night fare. With a friend from a good Italian commercial pasta making family, we are never short of good pasta. This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish. Use a great spaghetti, a thick one if you can, or thin if you cannot. Pasta shells work well also.

You might like to read Pasta with Soul – how long to cook pasta. Similar dishes include Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, Pasta Aglio e Olio, and Pasta with Tomato and Basil.

Or try Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices.

Explore our other Pasta recipes, our Eggplant recipes and our Italian recipes. Or browse our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Light Pasta or Couscous Lunches | Pasta or Couscous Salads

Do you still make as many pasta dishes as you used to? Somehow it has fallen out of fashion somewhat. Rather than the regular pasta night each week, it seems that pasta is more a once-a-month dish. And the fall-back pasta types are spaghetti – thick or thin – or fettuccine. Recently, at an Italian restaurant, I had an amazing macaroni dish and yet I can’t recall the last time I had macaroni. Not even a mac and cheese!

Coincidentally I now have an amazing Italian providore close by, one that holds an amazing array of different pastas, which I vow to explore one by one.

Rather than a hearty evening pasta supper, we have been eating pasta salads – they are so fresh and light, so very appealing, so perfect for Spring and Summer weather. Herbs are growing in the garden after the winter cold – chives, basil, parsley, spring onions (scallions). There are chillies too and Thai basil. Lots of salad type greens that can stand up to a little pasta – baby spinach, rocket, lettuce varieties.

Would you like similar dishes? Try Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pinenuts, Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad, and Rocket and Penne Salad.

Enjoy our other pasta recipes and other Couscous dishes. Take some time to browse our Salads too. Our Italian recipes are also here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce

Secrets from an Italian Kitchen

I have been reading the book The Everlasting Meal . The thing about The Everlasting Meal is that it has me thinking a lot about my approach to the kitchen. It resonates a lot. Yet, Tamar discusses a very Mediterranean-Italian approach to food so there are differences. I have been discussing her book with my Italian friends, and discovering more and more secrets. Like this one — and it amazes me that this is not general knowledge in Australia, given that we have adopted so much of the Italian approach to food here. Italian in Australia is like Indian in the UK.

One of her pieces of advice is to use cooking water over and over again, cooking from the least starchy to the most starchy. It sounds sensible, doesn’t it, yet even in my childhood home which must have been one of the most frugal around, even in my Grandmother’s home where all the water came from the farm dam, we did not do this.

It is like a revelation.

Not only does it help with taste, it is also the wonderful salty water that is reused and reused. (Tamar is not afraid of salt, such a refreshing change!)

So following her advice, I cooked pasta in the cauliflower water.

Are you looking for Pasta recipes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Tomato and Salted Ricotta, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, Elegant Orzo Pasta, and Spaghetti with Chilli and Olive Oil.

Feel free to browse our Cauliflower recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Pasta recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce

How do we love tomatoes? Let me count the ways. We do eat them raw, of course, especially in the occasional tomato salad, and we love Tomato  and avocado sandwiches on thick slices of the freshest bread, or tomato and pomegranate salad, and tomato tossed through hot spaghetti with a chilli and some olive oil. But best of all we love the transformation that occurs when juicy Autumn tomatoes are cooked.

Recently, I have been oven baking them into a wonderful sauce for pasta, for stirring through a vegetable hot pot, or for baking beans a la Tuscan Baked Beans (but use the juicy baked tomatoes instead of water). They are also great in curries – use them instead of fresh tomatoes when cooking Indian dishes. Blitz the tomatoes into a soup. The juicy roasted sauce can also be frozen for use in some later dish.

If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

You might like to browse all of our Pasta dishes and all of our Tomato recipes. Find inspiration in our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts

A wonderful salad

A spinachy and great dish shared recently with a friend was a beautiful orzo salad. In this recipe, the orzo we are using is a Greek, rice-shaped pasta, similar to the Italian Risoni. Don’t confuse it with the Italian orzo, which is barley.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, Rice and Orzo, and  Elegant Orzo Salad.

You might like to browse our other Salad recipes, and Spinach Salads. Our Pasta recipes are here. And explore the Spinach recipes. Alternatively take some time to enjoy our Late Summer dishes.

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Pasta all’ Aglio e Olio | The Simplest of Spaghetti Dishes

It must be the simplest dish in the world.

Sometimes the simplest is just the best way of cooking and eating a dish. Elizabeth David, for example, was a great proponent of that style. And it is in the simplest of dishes that we train our palate, noticing slight nuanced differences in taste between, say, this olive oil with that pasta, or a different pasta. Or a different olive oil. I read about a cooking school once where they spend 3 weeks just on potatoes, so that the subtleties of the tastes variations became familiar to the students.

This recipe is the simplest of pasta recipes, and one that you will want to make often. There are no quantities given, you can alter them until you find the ratios that work best for your pasta and your olive oil.

Different versions of this can be found all over Italy – it is a dish that most families enjoy at least once a week – often it is a Monday night supper. We make it with spaghetti.

Are you looking for Pasta recipes? Try making our Home Made Eggless Pasta, and our Home Made Zeffirino Pesto. And try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, and Orzo Pasta Salad with Spinach and Pine Nuts.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

Or browse all of our pasta recipes, and our Italian recipes. Or find inspiration as you explore our Early Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Pasta all’ Aglio e Olio | The Simplest of Spaghetti Dishes”